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Your wife must be doing well if she can plan to be in NYC and then China for 3 weeks! How is she, SG?

She is currently. Since the initial blood test and diagnosis we have been through multiple blood screenings and visits to our rheumatologist, plus one painful flare up. We spent one night in the emergency room just over a week ago. We are learning that even definitive diagnosis is going to require patience - maybe for years. There are multiple closely related auto-immune diseases with symptoms similar to Lupus. SGSpouse's blood tests all indicate something different. Some would seem to eliminate possibilities that the next one appears to identify. Once a flare event has passed, her blood tests show mostly normal readings with only one or two metrics barely beyond the "normal" range.

At this point, she always seems to be able to diminish and eliminate the symptoms with a burst of prednisone. This is not a desirable long term solution because the drug is eventually hard on livers. But it does eliminate the pain within a day or two and it is all we have until we can get a more complete diagnosis.

Each flare seems to present differently and to a different part of the body. Because she is active and 58 years old, she gets her share of normal aches and pains in joints and muscle tissue. She hasn't learned to recognize what aches and pains are a result of the disease until they have lingered for days and are debilitating. She is reluctant to attack every joint pain she feels with prednisone. So she waits to see.

In between flares, she does everything she always did. We are traveling hoping that we avoid a flare during the trip, or if we get one, that we can identify it and eliminate it with medication. Doctors say that makes sense. Wish us luck.
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